Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan/2017-2018/Draft/Non-Programs/Advancement

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About Advancement's Fundraising team[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation Fundraising team, a subset of the Advancement Department, secures financial support for existing and new initiatives, including those supporting the expansion of usage and contributions, and building relationships for new content delivery, distribution, and input.

Every year, we engage millions of people from countries around the world to support Wikipedia and its sister projects. The overwhelming majority of the Foundation's funding comes from individual readers from all over the world giving an average of $15.

The Fundraising team raises the Foundation's budget by running banners on Wikimedia sites, emailing donation requests, and soliciting and receiving major gifts from individuals and institutional funders. We also lead the Wikimedia Endowment. This year, the fundraising team will collectively raise USD $81.8 million – consisting of $76.8 million in donations to WMF and $5 million directly into the Wikimedia Endowment. In addition to fundraising, the team also aims to educate all readers and donors about Wikipedia and how our movement works.

Non-Program 1: Online Fundraising[edit]

Team: Online fundraising


The Fundraising Department raises the funds necessary to support a vibrant Wikimedia movement. We work to fulfill the short and long-term resource needs of the organization.


The online fundraising team will raise $68.8 million while educating readers about our movement.


  • Outcome 1: Readers will be inspired to donate quickly and easily while reading Wikipedia on their mobile devices.
  • Outcome 2:
    • Previous donors will be informed about how their funds are used and have a deeper connection to WMF than when they made their first donation. Past donors will give again to the 2017 and future campaigns.
    • Donors will have a high quality flow for monthly recurring donations. More readers will sign up to support WMF each month.
  • Outcome 3: Alternative revenue channels identified and evaluated. Initial experiment with at least one new channel carried out.


  • Activity 1:
    • Continue to optimize the fundraising performance on mobile web and build upon the first steps in mobile app fundraising from 2016.
    • Mobile research carried out in Q1 & Q2 (usertesting, consultation with reading team, external advisors, and like-minded organizations.)
    • A/B tests conducted in each country campaign and weekly English tests resulting in conversion gains in each type of mobile banner (currently using “large” and “small” mobile banners).
  • Activity 2:
    • Improve the performance and experience of recurring and renewing donations. Deepen our relationship with existing donors through email optimization.
    • Work with the fundraising tech team to improve the recurring donation flow (from the donation form, to thank you messages/receipts, and retention over time).
    • Analyze the long term donor retention trends of our entire database to identify areas for improvement.
    • Perform experiments to determine what kinds of educational emails most motivate donors to act on our mission. Find new ways to segment lists based on demographics that help us better target diverse preferences.
    • Train the Email Associate to support the effort to improve the performance of emails with a direct donation ask as well as educational emails to engage existing donors.
  • Activity 3: Research and experiment with alternative revenue channels, potentially off our site.


  • Milestone 1: Raise $43.8 million from banner fundraising.
  • Milestone 2: Raise $25 million from email fundraising.

Non-Program 2: Major Gifts & Foundations and Endowment[edit]


  • Major Gifts and Foundations
  • Endowment

Strategic priorities: Core support and Reach

Timeframe: 12 months


The Major Gifts & Foundations and Endowment Departments work in conjunction with the larger fundraising team to raise the funds necessary to support a vibrant Wikimedia movement. We work to fulfill the short- and long-term resource needs of the organization.


In conjunction with the Online Fundraising team, raise the annual operating budget and to grow the Wikimedia Endowment to help support our future.


  • Outcome 1: Renew major gifts from donors who gave in the previous fiscal year and before. Secure increased gifts when possible. Increase the number of donors annually renewing their gifts to enhance the revenue and resilience of this support stream. Increase the engagement of donors through personalized contact and education about our progress towards the Vision.
  • Outcome 2: Secure major gifts from new donors. Increase the number of donors in the major gift portfolio to enhance revenue and resilience of this support stream. Increase the engagement of donors through personalized contact and education about our progress towards the Vision.
  • Outcome 3: Secure direct and planned gifts to the Endowment. Increase the short-term and long-term health of the Endowment.


  • Activity 1: Revenue Development:
    • Engage donors in groups and individually at 2-4 fundraising events and many individual donor meetings. Secure new and renewed financial and in-kind commitments.
    • Development and execution of a multi-channel Annual Appeal to existing donors.
    • Secure multi-year support for unrestricted and restricted projects.
  • Activity 2: Donor Communication:
    • In conjunction with Communications, assist in the production and distribution of a multi-channel Annual Report to existing and potential donors.
    • Create and release frequent updates to donors about the impact of their contributions.
    • Report back to donors on progress achieved on ongoing large unrestricted and restricted donations.
  • Activity 3: In conjunction with Fundraising Tech, implement continuous improvement of donor information infrastructure, including CiviCRM development.


  • Milestone 1: Raise $8 million in major gifts, in support of the annual operating budget
  • Milestone 2: Raise $5 million in direct gifts and secure five additional planned gifts, in support of the Endowment.

Non-Program 3: Fundraising Operations[edit]

Team: Pats Pena, Michael Beattie, Joseph Seddon, Donor Services contractors

Timeframe: Core support – programmatic work


The Fundraising Operations program supports the logistics and operational needs of the Fundraising Team. The encompassing strategy is enabling Fundraising stakeholders (donors, fundraising team, wikipedia community, supporters) to have efficient channels to fundraise, communicate with donors and readers and reward/engage a community of supporters.


Raise official budget by supporting Online campaigns (banner & emails) and Major Gifts with payment processing and operational tools. Specific activities include:

  • Support and improve donation flow,
  • Manage donor communication,
  • Foster positive community relationships and activities in connection with fundraising programs and tools,
  • Support and improve volunteer rewards/engagement via management of the Wikipedia Store

Strategic priorities: Core support & Reach

Outcomes, objectives, and milestones[edit]

  • Outcome 1: Restructure Payment Processing setup in order to gain bandwidth to work on other important projects
    • Objective/Activity 1: .Consolidate payment providers while keeping redundancy of main method/markets and supporting growth in main regions.
      • Milestone/Target 1:
        • Based on Information gathered in Q1 and Q2, inform the tactical aspects of the restructure (consolidating systems versus giving up vendors/markets), etc.
        • Decrease the fr-tech time spent on PSPs work without losing main method/redundancy to the system (currently at 50%)
        • Raise official budget by supporting online campaigns (banner & emails) and Major Gifts with payment processing and operational tools
  • Outcome 2: Increase donor retention by improving recurring flow
    • Objective/Activity 2:
      • Improve recurring flow by enabling automated solutions and recurring methods.
      • Create tools to analyze abandonment during the donation flow
        • Milestone/Target 2:
          • Increase number of recurring donations
            • Decrease or eliminate manual work (bulk email) on recurring donors
  • Outcome 3: Improve the use of CentralNotice in engaging our users and communities
    • Objective/Activity 3:
      • Partner with Fundraising technology to develop and maintain a product roadmap for CentralNotice
      • Design and implement new types of engagement campaigns
      • Through user research, help inform the creation of new tools, processes and content for campaigns
        • Milestone/Target 3:
          • Minimum of 1 small-scale editor recruitment campaign
          • 90% in Q1 & Q2; 100% in Q3 & Q4, of community campaign banners mobile optimised,
          • Two new campaign tools or improvements to CentralNotice software